September 2016 – Bryce Canyon National Park is enchanting, and during our stay we were mesmerized by the beauty at Inspiration Point at sunrise, along the Rim Trail at the peak of midday, and descending into the Canyon along the Fairyland Trail in the early hours of the morning. We had lovely sunny weather for these excursions, but suddenly the skies went dark and storms threatened.
Watching a storm develop in Bryce Canyon National Park is a thrill, and they are regular afternoon occurrences in late summer.
We had some all day rains, and on one of these days we drove down towards the south end of the Park. On the way, we stopped at Agua Canyon.
This is a beautiful part of Bryce Canyon in any weather, but as we climbed the trail that rises above Agua Canyon on its north side, we were blown away by how the colors of the soaking wet red rocks came alive.
With no shadows to define each vivid red and white pinnacle, the shapes blended together in fantastic patterns.
A woman stepped out on a precipice to take a photo, and her tiny blue figure looked like a mere speck against this vibrant backdrop.
We hiked higher and higher above Agua Canyon, smitten with the beauty of this canyon in these wet and miserable conditions. What luck to have discovered this spot on just such a day.
At the far south end of the park at Rainbow Point, lots of tourists were huddled under a shade ramada, bundled up to the hilt. The usually stunning vistas were invisible because of the mist and fog, but we found a spot where the fog lifted just enough to peer through.
Out on the ranch lands around the edges of Bryce Canyon National Park, we saw some incredible storm clouds brooding in the sky.
Suddenly a bolt of lightning split the heavens above us.
We hopped in the truck to go do some errands in nearby Panguitch, and in no time we heard the unmistakable sound of hail pelting the truck’s roof. This was crazy! We were barely into the first week of September!
The hail piled up and made a wonderful contrast to the wildflowers that were blooming by the curb.
Wild thunderstorms and hailstorms brushed across the landscape more than once during our stay in Bryce Canyon, and at Inspiration Point one afternoon, we met a very soggy pair of hikers who had been hiking on the Peek-a-boo Trail for the last hour while we enjoyed the storm from the comfort of inside our heated truck!
Getting caught in an afternoon storm turned out to be pretty common in Bryce Canyon at this time of year. During our visit we became accustomed to the gathering clouds and eventual torrents that took place every afternoon, but they caught lots of hikers and visitors by surprise.
The show must go on, however, and a wet group of tourists on a guided tour passed us as we arrived at Sunset Point, and each was adorned in rain poncho of a different color.
The gods took pity on all of us drenched visitors, however, and one afternoon as we drove along the wet scenic drive through the park we could see the sun shining beyond the black clouds.
We whipped our heads around looking for the rainbow that had to be shimmering somewhere, and saw it was hanging over the canyon. We flew out to Fairyland Point, the closest part of the rim we could reach, and there was the rainbow, in all its glory, spanning the canyon.
We watched in awe as it hovered over the canyon, and then grew brighter and dimmer at each of its ends, intensifying first on one side and then on the other.
The wild weather we were experiencing at Bryce Canyon National Park was an adrenaline rush, especially as we dashed around from place to place trying to catch the drama in the peak of action.
One morning we took our gaze off the stunning red rocks at Sunset Point and noticed a young buck with fuzzy soft antlers peeking over the bushes.
How funny, a week later, to catch a mature buck with a beautiful rack standing in the bushes in almost the exact same pose a few miles away at Rainbow Point!
At Piracy Point we noticed a little chipmunk munching away on a pine cone. He was making quite a mess and had bits of his breakfast on his whiskers and fur.
One morning we saw a sweet little face peeking out at us from the front tire of our truck. This little guy was the size of a chipmunk, but he was some other kind of critter.
We looked him up online, and discovered he was a little stoat. We hoped he’d stick around, but we never saw him again after that morning.
On another afternoon, we spotted a beautiful pronghorn antelope in the grass.
He was part of a small group of pronghorns, and a few minutes later two more ran across the road.
As happens to us on every visit to Bryce Canyon National Park, we were utterly bewitched by everything we saw, from the turbulent weather to the animals that call the place home. It is pure magic!
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More info about Bryce Canyon National Park:
- Bryce Canyon National Park Official Website – National Park Service Website
- Maps of Bryce Canyon National Park – National Park Service Maps
- Location of Bryce Canyon National Park – Google Maps
- RV/Tent Campgrounds in Bryce Canyon – Dry camping for small / medium RVs inside the National Park
- Ruby’s Inn RV Park – Full hookups and Big Rig Friendly in nearby Bryce Canyon City
- Red Canyon Campground – Beautiful dry camping with 6-8 campsites big enough for our 36′ fifth wheel trailer.
More blog posts from our RV trips to Bryce Canyon
- Spring in Sarasota FL + Bryce Canyon’s Night Skies – in Trailer Life 04/04/17
- Bryce Canyon’s Rainbow Point – Bristlecone Pines and Sweeping Vistas 11/01/16
- The Waterfall at Bryce Canyon National Park – “Mossy Cave” 10/18/16
- Red Canyon Utah and the Bryce Canyon Bike Trail! 10/13/16
- Fairyland Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park – A Beautiful Hike! 10/02/16
- Bryce Canyon – Hiking The Rim & Navajo Loop + A Tourist Time-lapse! 09/29/16
- Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah – Inspiration Point – OMG! 09/27/16
- Bryce Canyon, UT – Fairyland of Pink Turrets 08/25/08
Related posts from our RV travels:
- Our RV travels in Southwestern Utah – Bryce, Zion and Capitol Reef area
- Our RV travels in Southeastern Utah – Moab, Arches, and Canyonlands area
- Our RV travels to Sedona Arizona – Red Rock Country in AZ
- Our travels to North America’s National Parks – National Parks and World Heritage Sites in the US, Canada and Mexico
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- Buffalo Wyoming – RVing Basque Style in the Bighorns! 09/04/17
- Buffalo Wyoming – Cowboys, Cowgirls and Sheriff Walt Longmire! 08/27/17
- Solar Eclipse 2017: Time-Lapse Videos from the South Dakota Badlands 08/21/17